The leaders of many “WOW” companies have passion oozing out of them.

Passion seems to play a major role in how quickly a leader can take an organization into the “WOW” category, and how likely it is that the organization will remain there.

The passion of the leader has nothing to do with education or experience. Passionate leaders tend to be humble, yet confidence. Calm yet assertive. They are genuinely interested in providing the very best product or service to their customers, and creating a work environment that allows each employee to reach their full potential, even if it means the employee might eventually leave the company to pursue their own dream.

Passionate leaders proactively invest in their people and in becoming the very best provider to their customers.

Some of them are passionate about what the business does, others are passionate about being the best, regardless of what the business does and some others are passionate about both.

Many passionate leaders subscribe to the idea of servant leadership and actually view their business as a means to minister to others either directly or indirectly.

Passionate leaders surround themselves with talented people who can offer the expertise they need. In addition, they have an Outside Board but they rely on heavily for on-going, high-level advice regarding the future of the business, as well as personal advisors who can bring the guidance they need in areas like personal finance, banking, law, insurance, health etc.

Passionate leaders are not only willing, but anxious to seek regular and ongoing input from experts who are smarter than they are in specific areas of business, so they don’t hesitate to form an Outside Board.

Most well-run companies have an Outside Board. A “WOW” company is never too large or too small to seek the advice of qualified, objective outsiders.

For companies fewer than 200 employees, a group of three unbiased outsiders is usually adequate. They should be from different disciplines, like Finance, marketing, or operations, and they should also be experts in their fields.

Board members absolutely MUST be independent thinkers! Do NOT have your attorney, accountant or anyone you are paying on your board.

It is also common practice to ask each board member to sign a confidentiality agreement since proprietary information will be disclosed by the company.

While some board members do not expect to be paid, it is a good idea to offer them compensation commensurate with their experience level. Some might prefer that a donation be made to a charity in their name.

After finding the first board member, the business owner and first member should choose the next member jointly to reduce the chance of future personality conflicts between members, and so on with the next member.

Passionate – Interested – Entitled (P.I.E) Phenomenon
If allowed to run its course, it can contribute to the disappearance of a family business that may have operated successfully for more than 100 years.

A leader should never stop trying to stay qualified for the job as it changes. In some cases it’s me even be appropriate for the leader to relinquish the leadership position to someone more qualified, but only after there’s clear evidence that the leader has reached the full potential.

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